Giada De Laurentiis is an expert when it comes to Italian cuisine — she definitely knows her pasta. Especially when there are fresh summer veggies involved in the recipe. Here are 10 pasta recipes from the Food Network star that highlight summer produce.
1. Giada De Laurentiis’ Pesto Pasta Salad might get your kids to eat their vegetables
De Laurentiis’ recipe for Pesto Pasta Salad pairs herby pesto brilliantly with sweet tangy roasted tomatoes and salty bits of feta cheese. The celebrity chef says that when you throw it all together with pasta and zucchini, it’s possible this dish will get your kids to eat their veggies.
To make this recipe even easier, De Laurentiis says to use store-bought pesto in place of the homemade version.
2. Zucchini Carbonara is the vegetarian version of the original
Traditional carbonara is one of the most famous recipes in Italian cuisine, but it always includes meat. That’s not the case with De Laurentiis’ vegetarian version, Zucchini Carbonara. Like the name reveals, she dresses up this dish with fresh zucchini. But, it still has that creamy carbonara goodness you would expect.
“This vegetarian version of the original still has a depth of flavor thanks to the browning of the zucchini before adding it to the pasta. Of course, it has all the rich, creamy goodness you look for in a carbonara,” the Food Network star explains.
3. Pasta Alla Norma is a classic Sicilian dish
De Laurentiis says that Pasta Alla Norma is a classic Sicilian dish for a reason. It features “soft, custardy eggplant” tossed with pasta in a “bright tomato sauce,” that is served in a “snowfall of ricotta salata.” She also added a bit of Parmigiano to the recipe because “why not?”
The ingredients you’ll need for this dish are: Japanese eggplants, kosher salt, olive oil, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, San Marzano tomatoes, oregano, short tube pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, basil leaves, and grated ricotta salata.
4. Pasta Sciue Sciue translates to ‘Pasta in a Hurry’
When you need dinner on the table quickly, De Laurentiis’ recipe for Pasta Sciue Sciue is perfect because Scuie Scuie literally translates to “hurry hurry.” She says that this pasta was made for her constantly when she was a kid, and the recipe has been passed down through her family.
She says that Sciue Sciue is pronounced like “shway shway,” and she promises this dish is “as fun to eat as it is to say.”
“It’s so simple, but perfect for summer when you have an abundance of beautiful, ripe and sweet tomatoes,” de Laurentiis shared.
This recipe calls for a smaller amount of pasta, about eight to 10 ounces. So, De Laurentiis recommends doubling the recipe so you can use the whole package of pasta.
5. Giada De Laurentiis’ Pasta Alla Caprese couldn’t be simpler
One of the quickest pasta dishes on the list is De Laurentiis’ Pasta Alla Caprese. It takes only 20 minutes tops, and the Food Network star says it’s “just right” for summer. Especially if you have a bunch of fresh tomatoes from the garden that need to be used.
“Pick your favorite pasta and toss it with sauteed tomatoes and garlic, basil, and fresh mozzarella. Drizzle a bit of your favorite olive oil at the end – and even some balsamic, if you like – and you’ve got all the flavors of a Caprese salad in a delicious pasta recipe,” De Laurentiis writes.
6. Lemon Zucchini Spaghetti is loaded with flavor
De Laurentiis says that in Italy, you’ll often come across pasta with briney and salty aspects from pantry ingredients like anchovy paste and capers. These are the flavors that take the TV chef “back to Italy,” and she uses them in her recipe for Lemon Zucchini Spaghetti.
She brightens up the dish even more with lemon, fresh herbs, aromatic ingredients like garlic and shallots, fresh zucchini, and plenty of cheese.
“The flavors all come together to become this really delicious pasta with a lot of flavor interest, and something about it just reminds me of summer in Italy. This lemon zucchini spaghetti would be so delicious paired with some grilled seafood – and a glass of prosecco!” De Laurentiis says.
7. Orzo with Artichoke Pesto & Grilled Corn is the perfect end of summer meal
Orzo with Artichoke Pesto and Grilled Corn is a vibrant pasta dish made with fresh veggies and herbs, and De Laurentiis calls it the perfect “end of summer meal.” The ingredient list includes orzo pasta, corn, EVOO, artichoke hearts, walnut halves, fresh oregano and parsley, lemon juice and zest, garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
De Laurentiis also includes Parmesan cheese in this recipe, and she advises that you “go heavy” with it because it’s worth it.
8. Pasta with Vegetable Bolognese is a meatless alternative to an Italian classic
De Laurentiis’ Pasta with Vegetable Bolognese features rigatoni with a vegetarian sauce that is “the perfect meatless alternative to the Italian classic.” Instead of ground beef, you’ll use mushrooms to make the sauce, which gives it “great flavor and texture.” The added bonus is that this dish couldn’t be easier.
“Pulse the vegetables in the food processor, then cook them in a saucepan along with some red wine and water that the mushrooms have been soaked in. It doesn’t have to simmer as long as regular bolognese, but it still develops great depth of flavor,” De Laurentiis says.
9. Spaghetti with Zucchini and Squash is a ‘vibrant, vegetarian pasta’
If you need a meal that is quick and vegetarian-friendly, look no further than De Laurentiis’ Spaghetti with Zucchini and Squash. All you need is 10 minutes and a handful of ingredients to get this dish on the table.
The recipe calls for spaghetti noodles, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, shallots, zucchini, yellow squash, lemon zest and juice, baby arugula, and ricotta salata.
10. Marinated Cherry Tomato Pasta is everything Giada De Laurentiis loves about summer food
De Laurentiis says that her recipe for Marinated Cherry Tomato Pasta is a shining example of everything she loves about summer food. There’s hardly any cooking involved, the dish features fresh ingredients, and it’s full of vibrant flavor.
“The cherry tomatoes marinate with olive oil, lemon, shallots, garlic, and pepper flakes for hours until the flavors marry together,” De Laurentiis explains.
“Tossed with fresh basil, shaved Parmesan and your favorite pasta, it’s such a bright and delicious way to eat pasta in the summer! It’s fabulous served warm with freshly cooked pasta, and just as delicious on days 2 and 3 after hanging out in the fridge.”
Simply Giada airs regularly on The Food Network.